I have not cried as much all year as I have in the past month, and particularly over the last two weeks. Michael has been increasingly anxious, aggressive and challenging from early am to late pm. I have cried not for me this time, but for him. How can I help him help himself when he is working so hard to keep me and his Dad out? I keep reminding him, we are his team, but all I can do is sit and wait for him to calm down and listen.
The good news this time around is that Michael is getting great tools at school and Dad and I are on the same page at home for the most part. There have been slip ups. Of course, we’re human beings. Gone are my old fears and worries about how I wasn’t a good mother to Michael. How I was a failure and weak. Now, I just think, this is too hard sometimes for all of us. But I take a deep breath, do my own inner work and move on to being the best parent I can to Michael.
There have been good moments amidst the bad and stressful ones. In the good moments, I have seen Michael’s joking nature, his intelligence, and amazing questions about the world around him. Then, there is the other side; the swearing, screaming, insults hurled at me and his Dad. “You never let me do things my way,” and “Why did you take my outing away?” It has been an education trying to teach Michael about rules, having strategies to handle stress and insecurities, and about how he can make choices to listen and get good results, and not listen and get negative results.
After two agonizing weeks with fights all around, I think last night we made some headway. Michael came back from tennis with Dad. I took over to give Dad a break, and we had snack together and talked. He finally apologized for his behavior, and started asking questions about his responsibility in losing his park outing and drive after tennis. He was courteous at dinner, did his homework, and other than some silliness, did well at bedtime. I saw the breakthrough, and although challenges still lie ahead, Michael is starting to connect the pieces for himself of actions and consequences.
Exceptional Parents, how do you navigate the challenging times with your child/dren? It’s so important to trust your parenting instinct yet reach out for help too. You need to see two sides to the child’s story, theirs and yours, and to gently learn to find the solution to help them move over troubled waters. Patience, looking for the good moments that are there with all kids, and mindfulness when used properly, will be your friend and help your child succeed. Until next time.
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